Middlesbrough boss slams EFL in lengthy rant ahead of televised Friday night Sheffield Wednesday clash

Tony Pulis has further slammed the EFL for their decision to schedule Middlesbrough's away trip to Sheffield Wednesday on a Friday night.

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 11:21 am
Updated Friday, 19th October 2018, 3:02 am
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is not happy with the EFL

Pulis' team travel to Hillsborough tomorrow evening in front of the Sky cameras, hoping to move back into the automatic promotion places ahead of Saturday's fixtures.

However, Pulis doesn't believe it's fair to be selected for a Friday night clash following the conclusion of the international break earlier in the week.

Pulis described Boro's situation as witnessing 10 players jet off for their countries compared to the Owls' one player - ultimately costing his side valuable preparation time and putting them at a disadvantage.

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He said: "The break is difficult. Like I said before, I think Sheffield Wednesday have had one player away while we've had 10 players away so we've still not been able to do any work and this (Thursday) will be our first day to do any work.

"That's the disappointing thing but we have to get on with. It is no good crying and moping about it now. Facts are the facts and we've put that to the bodies concerned in us, having a lot of players away and Sheffield Wednesday having almost no players away.

"We don't feel that's a fair outcome in these situations. I think people can look at it a little bit closer and make it more of an even match if they want to play it on a Friday night.

"In times to come, whether it's Middlesbrough Football Club or other Championship clubs, if they're picking games for Friday night, try and make it a little more evenly spread so teams have got similar numbers away.

"If you're really being cynical about it, Sheffield Wednesday have had two weeks where they've had their players in every day - we've had to cope with players coming in mid-afternoon yesterday (Wednesday), which gives them one day before we play the game."

Most of those players who featured on duty include Mo Besic, George Saville, Paddy McNair, Martin Braithwaite and goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

The Boro boss has called for more consideration from the EFL, even writing to the Football League himself.

"The big thing is, if you're going to organise games - the Championship has gone up a level now," Pulis said.

"I think everybody knows that, the money that's coming into the Championship, the finances, the opportunity of loaning players from top Premier League clubs - the level has gone up.

"They want to maintain that level, and every time they show a game on TV - they want it to be a good game and want to show everyone the Championship is a top, top league - so it's important they choose the games properly.

"I've put a letter in (to the EFL) and I think they understand where we're coming from. We'll see, like a say, it's too late for us - the game had already been selected and I don't think you can change that.

"It's not just about Middlesbrough Football Club, it's about the teams in the league and the league itself and making it as good as you possibly can and as competitive."